Lean On Trusted Tech To Support Your Drive Thru

The weather is getting warmer and you’re in need of a way to service more customers who are looking to physically distance. Check out our 32-point communication switchboard and offer your customers a social, yet safe solution to dining out!

A couple of years ago, I was back in Oklahoma for the summer visiting my parents. My grandfather Cunningham had passed away a few years before, and dad and I took the opportunity to clean out my grandfather’s old office. I came across a photo of my grandfather with his 1944 graduating class from the Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, IL. I found this photo fascinating. Not just for the fact that the Cunningham genes are STRONG, but it shed some light on an oft told family story about how my grandfather got his start creating innovative products and solutions for restaurant business.

U.S. Naval Training Station, Great Lakes, ILL, May 4, 1944

The story went like this, Papaw went to “radio school” in Wisconsin during World War II and after he was done, he went to work as a travelling jukebox repairman. Thus, he learned the mystical art of radio wiring and communication and with this knowledge he built the first multi-point communication system that would become the communication staple of the modern drive-in restaurant. But that wasn’t quite the story. Papaw didn’t go to “radio school school in Wisconsin,” he travelled back and forth from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and Naval Station Great Lakes and trained as a radio communications tech for the Navy during WWII! And that Naval Training Station that he graduated from on May 4, 1944…it’s literally 10 miles from my current residence here in Illinois. I’d never realized this fact until I found that graduation picture. It’s funny how the past will eventually reveal a whole new storyline that’s way more impressive than old family lore. The jukebox repair job story is true, and the fact that my grandfather had been very skilled in radio tech as a young boy is also true. My grandfather went off to his naval training with nothing more than an eleventh-grade education. But had the United States not joined the war effort in 1941, a young William Burgoyne Cunningham would not have had the opportunity to serve his country and hone a skill set that would set his life on a very different trajectory.

So that’s what I meant last week when I said that World War II helped to create what I believe to be the most enduring and functional product in OrderMatic’s history. My grandfather invented a switchboard that would allow a restaurant operator to communicate with multiple drive-in stalls. So how can that technology help us today? OrderMatic has taken that 1950’s technology and taken it a step further with the OrderSymphony™ Switchboard. This switchboard can communicate with up to 32 stations, and has an option to expand to up to 59 total stations. So how could you use this technology with your business? Many quick serve and fast casual restaurants are suddenly finding themselves with dining rooms that are closed, or whose capacity is greatly reduced due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Imagine turning your parking lot into a modern-day drive-in. For every parking space, you could have an ordering station and customers could eat from the comfort of their cars, thereby allowing them a safe, yet social experience. Click here for a complete OrderMatic Product Guide and see all the solutions that they have for you, today!

Next time, I’ll talk about how it’s still all in the family with OrderMatic’s menu signage.

Until next time!


Erin (right) with her son William Garrison Sloan (left), named after his great-grandfather, and grandfather

About The Company

At OrderMatic, we develop solutions that enhance the customer transactional experience in new and innovative ways. For over 60 years, we have provided turnkey contract manufacturing services nationwide. From exploring digital menu boards to using presell menus effectively, there are many ways to improve your restaurant’s efficiency even beyond best sales practices. Contact OrderMatic to discuss how you can enhance both your drive-thru and dine-in experience!